Lake Barkley Lock Re-Opens to Public Viewing

Aug 26, 2014

Barkley Lock and Dam
Credit US Army Corps of Engineers, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The Barkley Navigation Lock is now open through September to visitors after more than a decade of being closed to the public.  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the structure due to security concerns after the September 11th terrorist attacks, but district officials now support allowing the public into these areas to foster better community relations and to let people see how the lock facilitates movement of commerce within the U.S. Inland Waterway System.

“After more than a decade of significant restrictions, we are excited to be able to reopen the locks to the public during daylight hours,” said Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander.  “We are committed to balancing the need for security with the interest people have in visiting the facilities and watching boats lock through the dam, as they move up and down the Cumberland River.” 

The lock will be open from 9am to 5pm until September 30th. 

Opened to traffic in 1964, the lock is one of four located in the Cumberland River Basin. Over seven million tons of cargo on average move through the dam each year mostly consisting of coal, sand and petroleum. During normal lake levels, the lock can lift a boat 57 feet from the river below the dam to the lake above. The lock allows approximately 513 recreational boats through each year.